Corporate vs. Franchisees: Why the confrontation?
For many franchise companies, the traditional advertising channels to drive leads and brand visibility - portals, print advertising, PR - are not working as effectively as they were 2-3 years ago. Customers are more active, informed and engaged than ever before with an array of informational resources at their fingertips, at home and on the go.
A fragmented and disjointed strategy between corporate headquarters and local franchises are guaranteed to take potential customers elsewhere. Poor lead generation, limited brand visibility, insufficient data gathering and sharing, and the lack of digital tools are the 4 problems that franchisees report as most negatively affecting their business.
It’s time both parties started working together to put the best foot forward for franchise success.
1) Poor Lead Generation
Franchisor marketing simply isn't doing enough to provide a conversion funnel for local franchisees. Many (if not most) franchise companies are either shirking the responsibility or are completely unaware of the need to drive leads to local franchisees with a singular brand vision and messaging.
The basis should be internet marketing led - through Search Engine Marketing, social media marketing, email marketing and website conversion improvement.
2) Limited Brand Visibility
Not every franchise is capitalizing on the ability to combine local and national strategies to spur growth.
Corporate's national marketing plan may include marketing around the central brand, but do not connect the brand to local communities. When it comes to the local level, franchisors should increasingly rely and support franchisees - more than 50% of franchisees feel corporate isn't providing the support they need for success.
3) Insufficient Data Gathering and Sharing
There is strength in networks, but the lack of coordination on important areas like traffic and conversion analytics puts franchisees at a competitive disadvantage.
Franchises themselves tend to be small, most likely serving a territory, with a limited scope of customers. That makes correlating transactions against future opportunity difficult -- as there just isn't local in-house data gathering to analyze for trend identification and opportunity prediction.
Knowing how your franchise compares to others and sharing learnings across the network to improve overall results takes a traffic and conversion analytics program to a whole new level.
4) Lack of Digital Tools
Having a website simply isn't enough.
Most franchises are probably are already using digital marketing to reach customers through email and your company's social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. But these activities only scratch the surface of what is possible using today's digital marketing tools, which can facilitate better integration of marketing initiatives and greater customer engagement.
With the right tools - execution of local marketing plans, eCommerce initiatives, measurable analytics, content control and personalization of the brand can work seamlessly together.